Ruts and different pages

My good friend, Liza, who has a plethora of blogs (with the lovely Livia Writes) and Tumblrs and Twitter accounts (I’ve lost count, honestly) asked, on Twitter, “Q for kinky friends: what’s it like when you fall into a rut with your partner? How do you shake things up when you’re on diff pages?”

I’m not sure what the preamble means – why the question is directed just to kinksters, or whether she imagines that kinksters have different answers than more vanilla folk. And, for the record, I think of myself as pretty vanilla, notwithstanding my tendency toward mild, sensual, dominance.

But let me tackle the question:

First and foremost, there are two different questions embedded in those 140 (or fewer) characters: there’s “rut” and there’s “diff pages.” In my experience, the “rut” is actually the opposite of the “diff pages” question. A rut happens when two people find themselves repeating patterns, and as a result, not going new, exciting, fun places together. Generally, I think ruts are underrated: calling something a “rut” is a way of making sure we feel bad about getting something that feels safe and good for us, something that, evidently, we want (more than we want new, exciting stuff). It’s a way of chastising ourselves for being less exciting than we think we wish we were (when, in fact, if we really wanted to be more exciting, presumably we would be because, after all, what’s stopping us?).

The “diff pages” question is harder. When two partners are on different pages – one wants more, the other wants less; one wants rougher, the other wants gentler; one wants dominance, the other wants dominance – now that’s a problem. That’s more difficult to resolve. There are two keys to resolving that situation: the first is communication. (Don’t get me wrong. I actually think communication is overrated as a feature of relationships. But I think in this situation, it’s vital.) Not so much to communicate desires as to avoid resentment. Resentment is toxic, and whenever someone isn’t getting what s/he wants, we tend to blame someone else. So it’s best to get that shit out in the open early and often.

The other key? Selfishness. The solution to not getting what you want sexually is to take what you want, to make it so. Now, obviously, sometimes, this isn’t possible: no one can make me walk around behind her and fuck her hard while pulling her hair. But you can position yourself, and say to me, “I’m not sucking your cock ‘til you fuck me hard while pulling my hair.” And I can’t compel you to suck my cock for hours at a time, but I can tell you that that’s what I want, and that I’m going to hold your head down on me until I’m satisfied the next time you come near me.

A postscript: like any good advice-giver, it’s much easier to give advice than to follow it. I’m not always so good at following this particular advice. But I do think it’s good.

Really good.

What do you think?


  1. To be honest N, I think if more men were selfish in the bedroom, it would solve a lot of problems. This, of course, is my opinion. Sometimes, I’d rather he just not ask if I’m if the mood and take what he wants. In today’s overly PC society, I think it’s now engrained in men to ask, be polite, etc….well that doesn’t always work….or turn the brain on in any way.
    Perhaps it’s just me, but I’d rather he just show me how much he wants to fuck me instead of asking me if I’m in the mood. If that means he grabs me from behind while I’m doing something in the kitchen……great. 😉

    1. The problem is the fine line between erotic forcefulness and lack of consent. We’re afraid of coming too close to rape (rightfully) and therefore somewhat confused. Especially with all the media attention to rape cases these days.

    2. Of course, ER makes a point about consent (a point always worth making).

      But the problem with “selfishness” that affects couples isn’t the sort of selfishness that N endorses (based on my understanding from what I’ve read on this blog).

      When most women think of a man who is selfish in bed, we don’t think of a man who carries us off to the bedroom and ravages us. When we hear that a man is selfish in bed, we think “wham, bam, thank you ma’am,” no foreplay, no oral sex, a two pump chump, etc.

      1. Of course, I completely agree with how we regard selfishness in bed.
        In my comment I tried to get at the confusion (younger) men have to live with when it comes to taking control. On one hand there is the (rightfully so) repeated emphasis on consent, consent, consent; each and every time (rape happens relationships too). On the other hand there is all this written erotica (plus female friends revealing fantasies) by women for women/men about submission, forcefulness and giving up control.
        In BDSM circles these scenes are heavily discussed and planned (which takes away the spontaneity) to ensure consent and safety.
        I do think we’re talking about more spontaneous scenes here. This is where things get muddy and men maybe are hesitant because of fear of becoming a rapist/being labelled as one.
        I’m ESL, so my point might not be as clear as it is in my head.

      2. Yeah, that’s a horse of another color. I honestly don’t know what to say about that particular problem, having never been that guy and not even beginning to be able to understand that guy.

  2. What do I think? I think I want you to hold my head down on you until you’re satisfied next time I come near you. Please.

    (Also, I’m with you monkeygirl– to me your comment ties into this idea of ‘ruthlessness’ N. has brought up lately.)

  3. Indeed, in a relationship, being too ‘nice’ won’t work. Most often, women want men to act like a real man who have his own ideas and not like a sissy or pussy. Women often want men to stand up for what they believe. This also applies to sex. Women want men to be a little bit ‘dangerous’ and unpredictable!

  4. Thanks for the mention. The question was directed to kinksters because I was asked to write something about how kinky folks deal with bedroom boredom. While I would count myself among the slightly kinky, I wanted to know what others thought, what they experienced. The good news is, in a few days you’ll be able to read my take on it.

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